Victoria M By Victoria M • December 13, 2017

Tap into China's Digital Influencers

 

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In China, Influencers / Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) appear to have a more strong influence on society than in any other country. On the 11.11 Singles’ Day 2017, 4 KOL-rune stores have achieved sales more than 100M RMB.

KOLs in China are a diverse community, representing different age groups and interests. There are a few different types of KOLs: mainstream celebrities, Wanghong ‘web celebrities’, bloggers and Wemedia. China KOL industry is very developed, and ‘integrated’ with the eCommerce. In fact, there are very mature KOL incubators provide the full solution including eCOM operations and social media content creation. The KOL is just the face of the brand as the fashion advisor and building the loyal audience.

With so many successful stories of using KOLs, the biggest question is how to effectively choose the right KOLs? And what’s the budget for KOLs?

The most expensive ones are mainstream celebrities including famous actors, singers and TV personalities. The cost of the Weibo post from a celebrities can be easily over 1M RMB.

Wanghong or “web celebrities.” cost is usually around 30% lower than the mainstream celebrities, but also varies by the number of followers as well as which social media channel(s) to be used.

Bloggers are thought as the expert in certain areas, usually their post would be product review and experience sharing. A Weibo post from an influential blogger can be easily more than 100K RMB.

While, the cost varies depends what kind of the cooperation with the KOLs, either a post, a sharing, or a livestream; and also depends on which channels. Usually KOLs on Wechat charge more than those on Weibo.

So next questions, which channel should be used for KOL campaigns. The answer is, it depends on your landing page. If the customer shopping destination is Taobao/Tmall, Weibo would be the better option than other social platforms with the reasons below:

  1. Weibo and Taobao have a partnership and have created Weibo Window with seamless experience to direct the viewer to see the product and purchase the product from the taobao/Tmall store.
  2. More formats are supported in Weibo, photos, live streaming, videos and articles.
  3. Weibo is an open social platform does not need people to sign in to see, and the content is sharable.

Working with KOLs should not be just during the sales peak like 11/11. It should be planned well in advance to growing the audience base through different interactions. In the weeks prior to 11/11, treats like the coupons, gifts and promotional campaigns should be shared to the fans. On 11/11, it is the date to harvest the leads.

Currently, the majority of the China influencer brands are in the female fashion industry, but in the future, but there is the uptrend in other industries including fitness, F&B, cosmetics and so on. KOLs would continue to be the hype, as the essential tactics for brand awareness as well as selling the products.

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